Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It is bordered by Liberia to the southeast and Guinea to the northeast. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests, a total area of 71,740 km² and a population of 7,092,113 as of the 2015 census. The capital and largest city is Freetown. The country is divided into five administrative regions which are subdivided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a unicameral parliament and a directly elected president. Sierra Leone is a Muslim majority country at approximately 78%, though with a politically influential Christian minority at about 21%.
Sierra Leone achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, and Milton Margai became the country's first Prime Minister. Sierra Leone held its first general election as an independent nation on May 27, 1962. Siaka Stevens was democratically elected Prime Minister in 1967, however, once in office, he became increasingly authoritarian during his rule from 1968 to 1985.